I write novels, putting my work up for sale, I write blogs for this site and others. I am, simply put, opening up myself to critique. Since that point, I’ve not been able to write a book review. I now shy away from writing reviews in any form.
My first reviewer if I think back, was my creative writing school teacher. She didn’t think very highly of my work. I forget what she wrote but it was repetitive and went along the line of ‘could do better’. I was one of those school pupils that was afraid to let my imagination run wild for fear of critique or a raised eyebrow. It followed a story I wrote in junior school, it was really detailed about something happened on my school holidays. Everyone else liked it apart from the teacher. Because teachers were the all knowing people I accepted that my story was awful and never really extended myself to another story.
Now, of course, I write for me and I understand that there are people who are going to critique what goes through my head. That fact doesn’t prevent me from spilling out what I need to write. Reviews are welcome and I read every single one of them. This is part of being an author and putting my work out for scrutiny.
Writing reviews for others, that is the thing I struggle with now. As a reader before I put fingers to keyboard, I reviewed every book I read. I loved writing reviews, I was never unkind, I wrote about how the book made me feel mainly. I would talk about the negatives too, the continuity errors, green eyes turning blue, names changing, and others.
I catch myself thinking when I go to write a review now, who am I to critique others? I find reviews I read currently on other author pages are mainly more about publicity rather than an actual review.
Has the reviewing world changed? Do I need to catch on?
Whilst I will always stand by my opinion, my judgement on others can be called into question. Do people view my review differently because I am writing it as an author? Would my review be received in the same way if I were not writing about a book as an author? Perhaps I should just set up a fake name on Goodreads and go back to writing the review I want, I don’t know.
Or I should get over myself and just carry on the way I have always been. I may be giving this too much thought but it occupies my mind each time I finish a book and procrastinate about writing up a review.
If I were to review a book now, I would not publicly say anything about errors. I know how flipping hard it is to eradicate them all. No matter how many people have beta read it, editors have read it, I have read it, there will still be those pesky things that slip through.
As an author, should I write reviews for other author’s work, I don’t know. In my head, reviews are for recommendation to other readers. ‘Go and read this book, it’s epic’, that kind of thing. What happens when you read a book of one of your peers, one of your circle of writers that you all support no matter what and you don’t like it?
That’s a tough one, and that is where I struggle, do I have a fear of being judged? No, but I want to support others in the way they support me. How do I write a review of a book, shout about it, if I didn’t like it? There is also that book that I love and everyone else hates, do I come clean and say ‘actually I quite liked it’?
As I said at the top if this piece. Now that I am a writer, I shy away from writing reviews. I would like to feature some authors on this blog page but am incredibly nervous about it.
Are you able to write reviews easily as an author?
Has your viewpoint changed since you became a writer?
If you are a reader, do you censor how you really feel if you are in contact with the author?
Thanks for reading.
Harper’s Motto: You will not be everybody’s favourite flavour, but that’s ok, because they will not always be your favourite flavour. Be who you want to be and you will attract the people who will support you no matter what.
5 thoughts on “Harper’s Harpings – Writing Reviews”
I am the same way. I think it was easier writing them as a reader. I don’t like to put spoilers in my reviews but then how can you tell the author that those were your favorite parts without ruining it for others? But then I always feel bad for my review not being long enough or interesting enough to persuade potential readers. It is a vicious cycle of too much or too little. Maybe just putting aside the writer part of your brain and letting the reader side take over is the best answer….
Maybe, I am glad I am not the only one, it’s only a review but I want to give the author the praise they need. I also dislike spoilers but I love using quotes as my favourite parts. Decisions, decisions .
I am but a reader, I’ve written some reviews, I am afraid of giving away too much, I attempt to keep it short and sweet. I haven’t written many reviews, but I hope to write at least something on each book I read to help my author. Heaven knows I love all of them.
Every author appreciates a review good bad or indifferent. It can be difficult to speak about a book without giving away spoilers. Thanks for thinking about that.